TVA chief counsel to retire and more business news – Chattanooga Times Free Press


TVA names new chief counsel

TVA’s chief counsel announced Wednesday she is retiring from the federal utility after heading its legal department for nearly six years.

Sherry A. Quirk, the 66-year-old attorney who helped integrate the Office of General Counsel across TVA’s business units and worked to promote diversity and inclusion by creating the «Generating Justice» pro bono program, will retire effective March 5, 2021.

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Sherry Quirk

She is being succeeded as chief counsel by David Fountain, a senior vice president and vice general counsel at TVA. Fountain will be transitioning into the general counsel role as part of TVA’s succession planning process.

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David Fountain

Since joining TVA in 2015 after working on energy issues at a Washington D.C. law firm , Quirk has helped enhance TVA’s ethics and compliance efforts and encouraged her attorneys to do pro bono work in on a variety of non-utility related matters, from eviction and debt relief to minor infractions that could create barriers to good jobs and housing, according to TVA CEO Jeff Lyash.

«As successful as she has been in her official role, one of Sherry’s greatest contributions has been her commitment to TVA’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts,» Lyash said. «Thanks to her leadership, we have improved our focus on these important areas in every aspect of our mission.»

In fiscal 2020, Quirk received total compensation of $2.6 million, including direct salary and bonus pay of $2.25 million.

Whole Foods opens on Gunbarrel Dec. 19

Chattanooga’s second Whole Foods Market has set a Dec. 19 opening for the store on Gunbarrel Road, and it plans to sell a variety of local goods, according to the grocer.

Also, the company continues to hire for the 26,800-square-foot store as it’s seeking in-store shoppers for next week’s opening at the Gunbarrel Point center at 1814 Gunbarrel Road.

Local products include coffee from Mad Priest Coffee Roasters, the company said. The store also will offer an extensive selection of 180 beers, including from local breweries such as Five Wits Brewing Company, Hutton & Smith Brewing Company and WanderLinger Brewing Company.

The grocery department will feature area suppliers, including granola from Out of the Blue Granola, according to Whole Foods.

The bakery department will offer holiday items such as panettone, yule logs and stollen, as well as local offerings like mini scones and sandwich breads, including hearth bread from Niedlov’s Bakery & Cafe and muffins from Clark’s Bakery, the company said.

ITC delays ruling on battery dispute

The United States International Trade Commission on Wednesday delayed a decision until February on whether South Korean battery maker SK Innovation violated trade secrets and stole protected intellectual property from LG Chem, another electric vehicle supplier which sells batteries to Tesla and General Motors.

LG filed its trade complaints against SK Innovation last year in the United States over allegations of trade secret theft, seeking to block SK from producing battery cells in the United States. SK is investing more than $2.6 billion to build manufacturing plants in Georgia and denies any wrongdoing. An ITC ruling in the case had been expected on Thursday, accoridng to the Reuters news service.

An adverse ruling by the ITC could lead to the import ban of SK Innovation’s batteries and necessary components, which could hurt electric vehicle projects by both Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co.

Delta asks workers to take unpaid leave

Delta Air Lines has managed to avoid furloughs but is now asking more employees to take unpaid leaves of absence, a sign of the deepening slump in air travel as coronavirus cases increase across the United States.

CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday that Delta will need takers for its unpaid-leave program «for the foreseeable future.»

«I ask everyone to consider whether a voluntary leave makes sense for you and your family,» he said in a memo to employees.

With revenue down sharply, Delta expects to lose up to $12 million a day on average during the fourth quarter.

Unlike American Airlines and United Airlines, which furloughed a combined 32,000 workers in October, Atlanta-based Delta avoided furloughs by convincing thousands of workers to retire early or take unpaid leave.

Southwest Airlines also has avoided furloughs, but last week the Dallas-based carrier warned nearly 7,000 workers that they could lose their jobs if unions don’t accept pay cuts.

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